Exploring a Traditional Celebration


Indian festivals tend to involve a lot of powdered colour and water. Use a good weatherproof cover for protection.

Photographing a festival like Holi in Vrindavan can be just as daunting as it is exciting. It is important to be well prepared in order to get the best pictures when on the spot.

Research is the first and most important step when you are shooting at a new location. Do your homework and find out what the weather will be like, what are the traditions and rituals, where the activity is likely to be concentrated at and how you can gain access to it. Seeing a few sample pictures from websites like Flickr and Facebook can be very helpful. This helps you pack the appropriate gear as well. I usually carry a wide angle lens and a standard zoom which gives me the flexibility to photograph conveniently from wherever I am.

In a festival like Holi, spontaneity is usually the key to getting the best action shot. I set the camera to the Aperture Priority mode so that I have full control over the depth of field in the image. The Burst mode ensures I never miss a frame when in the middle of the action.

— Mohit Agrawal